Darcey Bussell

“I believe that in life, if you are fearless and curious, allowing your ideas to evolve beyond their immediate boundaries, I think they can take you anywhere.  This is why I think creative arts like dance must always have a place in education, so that children and young people can benefit from the many attributes they provide.  Increasingly, complex societies rely on the creative individual, so let’s make sure we always encourage creativity.”

~ Darcey Bussell, “Evolved”

Dame Darcey Bussell announced this week that she would be stepping down from her role as one of the judges on the nation’s favourite programme “Strictly Come Dancing”.  The programme won’t be the same without her: we rely on her kindness and grace to prop up hapless contestants.  Other judges have other personas: Craig Revel Horwood is the pantomime villain, and Bruno Tonioli expresses superlative passion like no one else.

Birth Chart

In looking at her chart, the question of what makes such an outstanding dancer is posed.  She has half her planets in the element of Earth, so grounding presumably is a useful asset for dance.  The feet are ruled by Pisces, and so dance is associated with Pisces and its ruling planet Neptune.  In her chart Neptune is exactly sextile Jupiter, which is one feature of her genius in this genre.  Her Sun itself is in the sign of Taurus, a sign associated with beauty and the Arts in general.  She has tried to be a supporter of the Arts, not just of dance, and has in her life taken part in many collaborations in different areas of the Arts, as well as many different types of dance.  We do not have her birth time, but if she was born exactly at Noon her Sun would have been exactly trine her Moon, which would show that her right hand (or foot) knows what her left hand (or foot) is doing, again a useful attribute in dance.

Darcey has Mercury trine closely with Jupiter, denoting an expansive mind and sense of movement, and an intelligent application of her mind, with many interests.  A trine from Uranus to her Mercury adds the capability of original thought.  Pluto also lines up for the trine with Mercury, giving her the power of deep thought.  The triple conjunction of Jupiter/Pluto/Uranus is in itself a very powerful expression.  North Node in Pisces points to a  karmic mission as a dancer.  Venus trine Mars gives great sensuality, and Venus conjunct Chiron enables healing through the Arts, though it may link with childhood wounds.  Mars square Pluto may also link with childhood wounds, but also generates great energy.  Jupiter conjunct Uranus is the Entrepreneur, and Jupiter conjunct Pluto confers personal power.

Karmically, Jupiter closely conjunct the South Node in Virgo brings through good karma from past lives, which the North Node in Pisces trine exactly with Neptune re-emphasizes her potential as a supreme dancer (which she realized early in life).  She also has the North Node conjunct Chiron, an attempt to bring healing and wholeness in what she does being a part of her karmic mission.

Life and Career

Darcey was born in London to Australian businessman John Crittle and Andrea Williams, his English wife, who separated when she was three years old.  Her mother then married Australian dentist Philip Bussell, and they lived for a while in Australia.

She trained as a ballerina at Sadler’s Wells, then at the Royal Ballet, and became a principal dancer at the age of 20, when her progressed Sun trined natal Jupiter and opposed natal Neptune, thus connecting with her natal sextile which showed so much promise.

She was taken under the wing of Kenneth MacMillan, who also had the North Node conjunct Chiron, principal choreographer at the Royal Ballet.  When only 18 she had performed his Elite Syncopations with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet School.  MacMillan created a new arrangement of The Prince of Pagodas and wanted Darcey to play the lead role: this was her big break, and a star was born.  Undoubtedly, he played a crucial role in her life in elevating her so early in her career.  Their Marses were exactly conjunct in Sagittarius (their energies in affinity), and his Jupiter was exactly sextile her ruling planet Venus (encouraging success).  The Prince of Pagodas was launched on 7th December 1989, with Jupiter closely sextile with Darcey’s Sun (her big break).  Jupiter was square MacMillan’s Uranus (an adventurous experiment) and Pluto trine his Pluto (self-empowerment).  Darcey went on to become one of the U.K’s most acclaimed ballerinas.

Retirement from Ballet

She retired from her first career on 8th June 2007, at the age of 38, and spent a few years in Australia bringing up her two young daughters.  She had married Australian businessman Angus Forbes in 1997.  At the time of her retirement Pluto was square her natal Jupiter (a sense of an ending), and Pluto was square her Nodal Axis (a karmic ending).

Viva la Diva

One of the collaborations in her life, the show Viva la Diva performed with songstress Katherine Jenkins in 2007, brought her into different genres of dance.  “When we met, Katherine and I clicked” recalls Darcey in her book “Evolved”.  You can see why, when you look at their charts.  Their Suns are exactly sextile (Katherine’s Sun in Cancer to Darcey’s Sun in Taurus) and their Mercuries are exactly sextile (Katherine’s Mercury in Cancer to Darcey’s Mercury in Taurus), so they are perfectly in sync!

Strictly Come Dancing

Darcey became a household name due to her involvement with Strictly Come Dancing.  She had made brief appearances in the programme, before replacing Alesha Dixon as a judge in 2012, after she had returned to live in England.  From the world of ballet, she was now demonstrating an expertise in the ballroom and Latin genres of dance.  She was a breath of fresh air, sitting among the veteran judges Craig, Len and Bruno, exuding a sympathetic and warm empathy.

Heroines and Heroes

Darcey has subsequently been involved in other programmes on the BBC.  In 2014, she presented a documentary entitled Darcey Bussell: Looking for Audrey.    Audrey Hepburn was “always a heroine” of Darcey’s, and a fellow Taurean.  There is a quiet, graceful, elegance which she shares with Hepburn.  Dress designer Neil Cunningham has designed dresses for Darcey along the clean cut 1950s lines of Audrey Hepburn’s couture, notably a red gown in her photoshoot at the restoration of the Albert Memorial.

Margot Fonteyn, also a Taurean, was the subject of another programme: Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot, and Darcey had briefly worked with Margot when she was young.  Another Taurean, whose dances Darcey re-created in a production of 2011 (Darcey Bussell Dances Hollywood)  was Fred Astaire – she had to brush up her tap dancing for that.

So it is interesting, and worthy of note, that some very prominent dancers have been Taurean.  Taurus, through its ruling planet Venus, is associated with the Arts in general, but is not the first sign that comes to mind for dancing.  Nijinsky and Nureyev, born 12th and 17th March respectively, the subject of Darcey’s Ballet Heroes (2015) both fit the accepted mould of Pisces/Neptune.   But Taurus cannot be discounted for such talent.


A quirky fact: Uranus (the unusual) squared Darcey’s Sun in Taurus (models) in 1997 when her waxwork at Madame Tussauds was unveiled.  Her comment: It was certainly one of the more unusual experiences of my career”. Neptune (illusion) was also exactly sextile her North Node.

Stepping down from Strictly

Her announcement this week that she was leaving the Strictly family was a surprise.  Perhaps there is an inner process we don’t know about, for Neptune squares her Mars this week.  She says she would like to concentrate on other projects.  Certainly she has Pluto trine her Pluto currently, which means self-empowerment.  She soon experiences her Chiron Return (the emergence of the Inner Healer), on 8th May, and this may be a trigger for new pathways.

Her words:

“It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.”


Today is a red letter today, with one of the best aspects of the year, Sun trine Jupiter.  If you found aspects of yesterday’s Sun-Pluto square tough, today should be much more easeful.  It speaks of eat, drink and be merry; laugh and the world laughs with you.  It is a good day to embark on voyages, and even to have a flutter on the lottery.  A touch of luck is possible.  It’s a great time for  positivity, affirmations and creative visualization of better outcomes in the future.

Late in the evening, just before midnight in the U.K., Venus sextiles Pluto, which is also constructive but much more soulful.  It favours the declaration of deep feeling, for example, where Sun trine Jupiter tended to just concentrate on enjoying life.  A steamy night may follow on from a heady day.

Tomorrow (Monday 15th) Venus squares Jupiter, so whereas Sunday was comfortably social, Monday is also social but more awkwardly so.  Behaviour may be gauche or a little inappropriate, and that may have consequences.

Mercury enters Aries on Wednesday (17th), and plain speaking replaces the flowery language of Mercury in Pisces.  You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.

Emotional tension gathers for the Full Moon on Friday (19th) at 29 degrees Libra.  If meditating, you can use the energy more constructively.  This Full Moon is emotionally dedicated to relating, while the Sun which opposes it wants its own way.  Thus a delicate balance operates, which may be resolved in common aims.  The Brexit juggernaut will still be trundling along, as we are now in extra time.

On Saturday (20th) the Sun enters Taurus, a time of the blossoming of the earth.  Gardeners will garden, artists will paint or sculpt, and dancers will dance.  Channel your inner Alan Titchmarsh (Sun in Taurus), Joseph Turner (Sun in Taurus) or Darcey Bussell.

In the afternoon, Venus enters Aries, so we may be torn between impulsiveness (Venus in Aries) or patience (Sun in Taurus).  There might be a place for both: use the Venus in Aries if you want to get things done, or watch your asparagus grow, or the Sun in Taurus if you are watching the paint dry on your garden fence.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – joy bringing
  • Tomorrow – mind your p’s and q’s
  • Wednesday – plain speaking
  • Friday – balancing needs
  • Saturday – blossoming